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TE Connectivity celebrates new Christchurch facility

TE Connectivity celebrates the opening of its new Christchurch facility

New building incorporates features designed for staff wellbeing and future flexibility

Press release, 11 December, 2015, TE Connectivity, Christchurch, NZ: TE Connectivity Christchurch, one of 80 plants owned by TE Connectivity worldwide, has been supporting local industry with contract electronic manufacturing services for many years.

On Thursday 10 December 2015, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Rt. Hon John Key, officially opened TE Connectivity’s brand new facility at 14 Mary Muller Drive, Hillsborough, Christchurch.

The building has been custom designed to meet very high standards and to enhance employee health and wellbeing with a light, airy, flexible, and futureproof fit-out. It also takes advantage of its spectacular surroundings, with huge windows that enable all staff to enjoy a breath-taking view of the Port Hills.

Plant Manager Roland Sommer says: “Our landlords, Castle Rock Properties, provided us with the option of moving out while repairs were completed to the existing building; or working with them on a completely new premise tailored specifically to meet our future needs. We chose this option as it meant we could have some influence on the design process, and it saved us having to move twice.”

TE Connectivity’s new building is across the road from its former premises, which was badly damaged in the earthquakes. As part of a Fortune 500 company that is the largest manufacturer of connectors and sensors in the world, the new Christchurch plant incorporates features that support TE Connectivity’s corporate philosophies around environment, health and safety, wellness, inclusion, and diversity.

“As with most corporates, workforce health and safety is a priority. We worked closely with Dean Cowell of Chris Prebble Architects and builders Hanham & Philp Contractors to include features such as custom-built stairways and non-slip surfaces to ensure optimum safety. The factory fit-out has also been designed to provide maximum flexibility and future proofing.”

New features of this striking building include exterior Parklex timber veneer panels, big picture windows, seven skylights, and large glass sliding doors that provide an open flow between the staff cafeteria and the paved outdoor seating areas.

“On a sunny day, the sunlight beaming into the building is enough to light up both the factory and the offices,” says Sommer. “The large glass panels and doors on the eastern side also help to heat the factory on sunny mornings.”

To help look after employee’s health and well-being, sit-to-stand desks arranged in pods have replaced traditional ‘L’ shaped desks and cubicles.

Importantly, no point in the factory is more than two metres away from power, data and compressed air. This allows the facility to be easily reconfigured as projects and volumes change, and to ensure the layout is optimised along lean principles.

“The majority of our 100 staff are assemblers and technicians,” says Sommer. “They produce products as diverse as irrigation centre pivot control systems, fire and evacuation panels, telecommunications roadside cabinets, and an array of cable and harness assemblies. We also manufacture battery lugs and heavy cable connectors for our parent company, some of which are fitted to X Series Jaguars and Land Rover Discoveries.”

The new facility is a great example of how buildings in New Zealand can be designed to meet the present and future needs of business, staff, and the environment. And the company’s 10-year lease reflects its commitment to staff, to the local industry and to New Zealand.

“Our TE Connectivity Christchurch team couldn’t be happier with the new building,” says Sommer. “The light, airy and future-proofed building has so much natural light and a clean, crisp high-tech feel, that it seems more of a medical than an industrial environment. Our staff love it.”


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